Our focus Bible story for this coming Sunday is Luke 24:13–35. Last week we heard a story from the gospel of John that took place after reports of the resurrection of Jesus. This week’s reading comes from the gospel of Luke and tells another story about that day. The exact location of Emmaus is not known. It may be anywhere. I belive that the Emmaus of our story comes into sight wherever a path leads us toward communion with God and whenever we recognize the risen Christ among us.
So, it was the first day of the week. Cleopas, a follower of Jesus, and another disciple, perhaps his wife, were on their way home. They were sad about Jesus and confused about what to do now that Jesus was gone. They didn’t say much as they walked along the dusty road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. But from time to time, one of them remembered something that Jesus had done or said and spoke of it. They paid attention to no one, but, nearing Emmaus, someone joined them. It was Jesus! But they did not recognize him at that moment. Jesus revealed himself to the travelers as he shared bread with them. The loaf of broken bread was an unmistakable sign for them that this was indeed Jesus in their midst. Jesus explained the events of the last few days to his friends with infinite love and patience.
Some members of our group might have difficulty with the stories of resurrection because the events described seem so incredible. Younger children are filled with curiosity. They are inquisitive and ask questions to learn more. Older children are also eager to learn and put new information into context with what they know. Most young people have experienced losing a close friend through changes in peer relationships. As they enter their teen years and move into new schools, they sometimes lose connection with friends that they had in childhood. Experiences like this can help our youth to connect with the story as two travelling companions discover the “stranger” they are walking with is Jesus. At an age of concrete, reality-based thinking, it may be puzzling to imagine why the disciples wouldn’t recognize Jesus right away. The session can help our young people to recognize that in the journey of daily life they too can encounter the presence of the risen Christ in ordinary and extra-ordinary ways.
We do not always recognize Jesus’s companionship on the road. We do not always sense “the living and enduring word of God” on our own. Jesus’ words and actions continue to call out to who we are and what we need. When we declare, “Christ is risen indeed!” what is our hope? How will we witness to this truth?
As always, all children and youth are welcome to join us for Bible story time and activities on the 2nd floor after the time of conversation with the pastor in worship. Childcare is available for children 4 and under on the 2nd floor as well